Archive | September, 2015

Review: The Mistress of Tall Acre

30 Sep

The Mistress of Tall Acre

The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

Purchase a copy:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | DeeperShopping

The American Revolution is finally over, and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her nearest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe, sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general’s past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the utmost. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre?

Triumph and tragedy, loyalty and betrayal–readers find it all in the rich pages of this newest historical novel from the talented pen of Laura Frantz. Her careful historical details immerse the reader in the story world, and her emotional writing and finely tuned characters never cease to enchant fans both old and new.


My thoughts:

“Though sympathy tugged at her, Sophie’s imagination made fearsome leaps. The grieving widower. The destitute governess. A motherless child. It had all the makings of a scintillating novel.”

The Mistress of Tall Acre is captivating!  One of my favorite reads so far this year, this story and its characters stole my heart! 

Sophie Menzies and Seamus and Lily Cate Ogilvy are memorable characters who share a remarkable journey.  Their story is brimming with drama, suspense, and romance, and includes a plot twist that I never expected.  I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out how this story would unfold!

Laura Frantz’s writing is beautiful and her historical details transport readers to another time and place.  I loved The Mistress of Tall Acre and highly recommend this story to historical fiction fans! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.  All thoughts expressed are my own. 


Laura FrantzAward-winning author Laura Frantz is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Frantz lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky.  Readers can find Laura Frantz at

Review: The Lost Heiress

29 Sep

The Lost Heiress (1)

The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White

Purchase a copy:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | DeeperShopping

Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. When her friend Justin uncovers the fact that she is possibly a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook’s life is threatened do they draw close–but will their loyalty come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother?

As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that their friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

And then for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession–and those who can save her still aren’t sure who to trust.


My thoughts:

The Lost Heiress is a gripping story that reads like a literary classic!  

Roseanna M. White’s vivid imagery and exquisite detail swept me away to the Edwardian era, and I quickly became immersed in the history, mystery, and romance of this story.  Although the cast is extensive, each character, from hero to villain, is well-defined, and there are several I look forward to revisiting as the series progresses.  

Brook Eden is an enchanting heroine who longs to discover who she is and where she belongs.  Her journey, rife with drama and danger, held me captive with each turn of the page.  I loved Brook and Justin’s story and am eager to continue the Ladies of the Manor series!  

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.  All thoughts expressed are my own. 


Roseanna M. WhiteRoseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna has a slew of historical novels available, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia.

Learn more at

Review: The Memory Weaver

28 Sep

The Memory Weaver

The Memory Weaver by Jane Kirkpatrick

Purchase a copy:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | DeeperShopping

Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now the young mother of two children, Eliza faces a different kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants them to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her departed mother’s grave–and returning to the land of her captivity. Eliza longs to know how her mother, an early missionary to the Nez Perce Indians, dealt with the challenges of life with a sometimes difficult husband and with her daughter’s captivity.

When Eliza is finally given her mother’s diary, she is stunned to find that her own memories are not necessarily the whole story of what happened. Can she lay the dark past to rest and move on? Or will her childhood memories always hold her hostage?


My thoughts:

“Emotions wrap around memory.
We don’t recall the detail in our stories; we remember the experience.”

The Memory Weaver is a compelling literary journey! Based on actual events, Jane Kirkpatrick seamlessly weaves fact and fiction and creates a world of intrigue, drama, and romance. The characters and their emotions are vivid, as are the historical details of the narrative. I was captivated by this story of transformation through tragedy and recommend The Memory Weaver to fans of historical fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.


Jane Kirkpatrick

Reviewers and readers alike acclaim Jane’s work as unique in a world of storytellers. “Kirkpatrick’s books enfold the reader. They whisper “let me tell you about a woman who…. They find a secret place in each of us and bring it gently to the surface.” The Statesman Journal, Salem Oregon. Moving from being a rancher, writer and rattlesnake fighter to full time writer has produced 29 books from bestselling and award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick. She has 24 novels and five non-fiction titles to her credit. Creating stories from the lives of actual historical women or events, Jane’s focus is on telling stories that inspire. “I like helping people from the distant past step from their generation into our own to teach us and touch us with their lives.”

Jane lives with her husband Jerry and two dogs near Bend in Central Oregon. Her works have sold over a million copies, been translated into foreign languages, won literary awards such as the Wrangler, WILLA Literary and Carol as well as being a New York Times bestseller. A mental health professional, she’s a lively presenter who has spoken about the power of story throughout the world. Enjoy receiving her Story Sparks newsletter by signing up at

Review: To Get To You

26 Sep

To Get To You image

To Get To You by Joanne Bischof

Purchase a copy:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

To get to the girl he loves, Riley Kane must head off on a road trip with the father he never knew. Then pray for a miracle. Most teens would love to have a pro surfer for a dad. Just not Riley. Abandoned as a kid, he hates the sound of the ocean and the man who gave himself to it. When the eighteen-year-old learns that his best friend is stranded at a New Mexico hospital as her father fights for his life, Riley hits the highway to head east. But when his Jeep breaks down before he even leaves California, he must rely on the one man he despises to get to the girl who needs him the most. And when it comes to the surfer with the Volkswagen van and dog-eared map, a thousand miles may–or may not–be enough to heal the past. 

Wild Air quote

To Get to You is a heartwarming story! 

Joanne Bischof never fails to tug at my heartstrings and make me feel for her characters and their journeys. Although To Get to You is classified as Young Adult fiction, I believe Riley and Becca’s story is one readers of all ages will enjoy!

VW van with surfboard (1)

One thing that makes this tale especially unique is that it is written from the male perspective. I really enjoyed experiencing Riley’s journey and loved his memorable road trip with Jake and Saul. The sights and sounds along the way were palpable, as were the emotions.

also enjoyed Riley and Becca’s subtle and sweet romance. From very different backgrounds, these two are drawn to each other from the moment they meet, and their feelings continue to grow as they spend time together with Becca’s family. 

To Get to You addresses teenage angst and coming of age issues and does so with humor, heart, and hope. I loved this story of new beginnings and second chances and can’t wait for the next book in the Wild Air series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.  I appreciate the opportunity to read this story and share my thoughts!


Joanne is celebrating the release of To Get to You with an exciting Road Trip Giveaway! Two great prize packages are up for grabs, so visit Joanne’s blog and enter now!



Joanne Bischof

Christy Award-finalist and author of Be Still My Soul, Though My Heart Is Torn, and My Hope Is Found, Joanne Bischof has a deep passion for Appalachian culture and writing stories that shine light on God’s grace and goodness. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, folk music, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life. You can visit her website at

Friday Freebies

25 Sep

Freebie Graphic-


Don't Wait for Me

Don’t Wait For Me by Dan Kolbet


Edwin Klein’s iconic downtown toy store is hanging by a thread. The end is near, but he won’t accept it. The store is all he has left of his wife and he can’t let it go. Failure and loss have led him to a dark place.

After a chance encounter with a shoplifter, he stumbles upon the help of Amelia Cook, who is struggling with her own loss. Through one holiday season the two of them hatch a plan to save the store and in turn touch the lives of everyone they know.

What follows is a wonderful, but tragic tale of love, loss and new beginnings.


To Trust an Outlaw

To Trust an Outlaw by Rhonda Gibson

Kindle | Nook

A gang of bandits has captured Elizabeth Winterspoon, and a case of mistaken identity is the only thing keeping her safe for now. With no one else to turn to, she begins to accept the help that one outlaw has offered. Jonathan Russell hates deceiving Elizabeth, but the closer he gets to the truth, the more his cover can’t be compromised. When he finds himself falling in love, his past comes back to haunt him. Will Elizabeth be able to truly forgive and allow the Lord to help her to trust an outlaw?


AH Shakes Up Sweetbriar

Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar by Carol Heilman


Summer’s steamy haze coats North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, but feisty Agnes Marie Hopper discovers the heat isn’t the only thing causing her blood to boil. After a kitchen fire destroys her home, Agnes moves in with her daughter, Betty Jo. Three months later they come to an understanding: neither can tolerate living with the other. So on a sultry August morning, Betty Jo drives Agnes and her few belongings to Sweetbriar Manor, a local retirement home and former house of ill repute.

With no intention of staying, Agnes devises a scheme to sneak out of the Manor and find another place to live. Before she can make her exit, she runs into her best friend from high school, along with some other quirky characters. With a nose for trouble, Agnes learns some of the residents are being robbed, over-medicated, and denied basic cable and Internet access. Armed with nothing more than seventy-one years of common sense and a knack for pushing people’s buttons, Agnes sets out to expose the unscrupulous administrator, protect her new friends, and restore Sweetbriar Manor’s reputation as a “rewarding and enriching lifestyle. But the real moment of truth comes when Agnes is forced to choose between her feisty self-reliance and the self-sacrifice that comes from caring for others.

Lilacs for Juliana | Blog Hop + Kindle Fire Giveaway

24 Sep

Lilacs for Juliana

Lilacs for Juliana by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Purchase a copy:

Petite Juliana Beauchamps possesses a vivid imagination, which comes in handy as a librarian. When a handsome giant of a lumberjack comes to town and rescues her from possible tragedy, she’s shaken by the event. A dashing beer baron, from Milwaukee, also pursues Juliana’s attention. Meanwhile, a library trustee determines to push out the female librarians.

Set in 1891, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Book Three in The Christy Lumber Camp Series focuses on Richard “Moose” Christy, the youngest of the sons, as he prepares to manage his first lumber camp. When Yost hires Juliana to organize his personal library, and her letters from Wisconsin suggest foul play, will Richard need to save her once again? And will his secret need to be revealed to win her heart?


My thoughts:

Once again, Carrie Fancett Pagels brings Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to life in this delightful continuation of the Christy Lumber Camp Series!

I loved revisiting beloved members of the Christy family and enjoyed reading Richard “Moose” Christy’s story. When this giant lumberjack visits the St. Ignace library and meets librarian Juliana Beauchamps, a wonderful story is set in motion. Full of heart, Lilacs for Juliana charmed me and its romantic ending left me with a sigh and a smile!

Lilacs for Juliana is the third book in the Christy Lumber Camp Series, following The Fruitcake Challenge and The Lumberjacks’ Ball. While these stories can stand alone, I believe they are better enjoyed as a series read in order. I love these historical narratives and look forward to reading more from this talented author!

I received a complimentary copy of Lilacs for Juliana from the author in exchange for an unbiased review. I appreciate the opportunity to read this story and share my thoughts.


Blog Hop  & Kindle Fire GIVEAWAY!

Carrie is graciously giving away a paperback copy of Lilacs for Juliana at each blog stop, AND those who visit and comment on at least seven of the participating blogs will be entered to win a KINDLE FIRE!  Comment to win!!

Blog Hop- Lilacs for Juliana

Paperback copies available to US residents only. International winners will receive an e-book (if available). One Buzzing About Books winner will be chosen at random one week from today’s posting.  The grand prize winner will be chosen at random on October 28. 

Blog Hop Stops:

Stop #1 – Heroes, Heroines, and History
Stop #2- Overcoming with God
Stop #3- Book Babble
Stop #4- Cheryl B Book Blog
Stop #5- D’s Quilts and Books
Stop #6- Sunnie Reviews
Stop #7- Buzzing About Books
Stop #8- Captive Dreams Window
Stop #9- Singing Librarian Books
Stop #10- Perspectives by Nancee
Stop #11- Stuff and Nonsense
Stop #12- Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
Stop #13- Lane Hill House


Carrie F Pagels

Carrie Fancett Pagels Ph.D. is an award-winning, best-selling, and multi-published Christian historical romance author. Carrie was a psychologist for twenty-five years. Married for twenty-seven years with two children. Carrie resides in Virginia’s Historic Triangle and enjoys reading, traveling and researching. She’s a finalist for the 2014 Maggie Awards for Excellence.

Website | Blog- Overcoming with God | Blog- Colonial QuillsFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | LinkedIn


The Christy Lumber Camp Series (2)

Review: Gather Around The Amish Table | Amish Baking Basket Giveaway

23 Sep

Gather Around the Amish Table

Gather Around The Amish Table by Lucy Leid

Purchase a copy:

Blog tour landing page:

Straight from Amish kitchens to yours, this cookbook offers favorite family recipes and charming stories from Amish and Mennonite cooks.

Bake the pecan rolls that taste best after an ice-skating party, or try the hoagies that a community sold to help an Amish family with hospital bills. Discover the cocoa cupcakes with instructions to “stir by hand” that one young cook took literally, or whip up the whoopie pies that one Amish woman took to market in her horse and buggy.

These cherished recipes speak of comforting traditions, lively communities, and strong Christian faith. Gather your family around the table to sample the nourishing fare and trademark charm of the plain people. In the words of one cookbook contributor: “Bake someone happy!”

My thoughts:

Gather Around The Amish Table is a lovely cookbook and a wonderful sampling of the food and fare shared in plain communities.  Brimming with recipes and stories from Amish and Mennonite families, this treasury of favorites is a great addition to any kitchen.  I really enjoy the easy-to-make recipes and the beautiful photographs that include food and glimpses of Amish life.  The stories shared by the various contributors are a pleasure to read and really make this cookbook special.  My family and I have enjoyed the recipes we’ve tried and look forward to enjoying many more! 

Yoders' Eight-Minute Cheesecake - Gather Around The Amish Table

Of the recipes I’ve prepared so far from Gather Around The Amish Table, the overwhelming favorite has been Yoders’ Eight-Minute Cheesecake.  This easy, no-bake cheesecake is delicious!!    

Visit the Litfuse blog for the Yoders’ Eight-Minute Cheesecake recipe.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an unbiased review.  All thoughts expressed are my own.


Get your fall baking underway with an Amish Baking Basket Giveaway from Lucy and MennoMedia!


One grand prize winner will receive:


Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 29th. The winner will be announced September 30th on the Litfuse blog.



About the author:

Lucy Leid is an Old Order Mennonite wife, mother, and cook in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Review: A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn + 5 Book Giveaway

21 Sep

A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn

A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn by Shelley Shepard Gray

Purchase a copy:

A wedding brings together two young widowed parents . . . and gives them a second chance at love.

Emma Keim was heartbroken when her husband, Sanford, passed away, leaving her to raise three young daughters alone. Though several years have passed, her relatives have made it no secret that they expect Emma to remain a widow, mourning Sanford indefinitely. But when she meets Jay Hilty—a handsome widower with three young sons of his own—Emma is delighted to have a new friend who understands her struggles. Still, she is dismayed that her family is so opposed to their friendship—and the idea of it ever becoming anything more. She honors her husband’s memory every day, but is she destined to be alone forever?

Emma’s gentleness with Jay’s boys stirs something in his heart that’s been quiet for far too long. But when his oldest son becomes engaged to a local woman, suddenly Jay, Emma, and their children are swept up in wedding preparations. Witnessing his son’s joy, Jay wonders if it’s time for him to move forward, too, and find happiness again.

Once again, love has come to Pinecraft. But can these two parties of four become a happy, healthy family of eight?


My thoughts:

In the third book in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series, Shelley Shepard Gray invites readers back to the small Amish community of Pinecraft, Florida. As with each of the stories in this series, new primary characters are introduced, and familiar favorites are enjoyed in the secondary story line.

A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn is a delightful story brimming with endearing characters, including Frankie, a pesky beagle with a penchant for pizza. While Frankie was busy thieving food, he also managed to steal my heart, as did the rest of the cast of characters. In this ode to The Brady Bunch, Shelley Shepard Gray delivers a heartfelt story that completely charmed me. I love the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series, and this latest addition is my favorite so far. I can’t wait to revisit Pinecraft in the pages of the final book, A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft.

P.S. Even after the story ends, the fun continues! In addition to an author’s note and discussion guide, readers can enjoy a Cranberry Orange Bread recipe, Shelley’s top five must-see spots in Pinecraft, scenes from Pinecraft, and a sneak peek of the final book in the series. I loved the bonus material!

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an unbiased review.  All thoughts expressed are my own.

Landing page:


Click the image below to enter to win a copy of A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn—five winners will be chosen! The winners will be announced October 1 on Shelley’s blog!



Shelley S Gray

Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Find Shelley online: website, Facebook, Twitter


Review: Ties That Bind

19 Sep

Ties That Bind

Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmall

Click here to purchase a copy or learn more about Ties That Bind.

Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.

Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.


My thoughts:

“We are free to choose, but we are not free from the consequences of our choices.”

Ties That Bind is a unique story with a compelling plot, unlike any other I’ve read in Amish fiction. Cindy Woodsmall intertwines the Old Order Amish world with the Englisch, as secrets are unearthed and faith is tested.  “Ariana’s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cord of family keep them together or simply tear them apart?”

Ties That Bind tugged at my heartstrings, and its cliff-hanger conclusion left me anxious for more. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in The Amish of Summer Grove series and highly recommend it to fans of Amish fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Blogging for Books in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.


Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of numerous works of fiction and one of nonfiction. Her connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media. She lives in the Foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her family.

To learn more about Cindy and her books, please visit her website.  

Friday Freebies

18 Sep

Freebie Graphic-


Katie's Redemption

Katie’s Redemption by Patricia Davids


After two years away, Katie Lantz returns to her Amish community nine months pregnant—and unmarried. With nowhere else to turn, she nervously knocks on her family’s door, fearing she’ll be shunned. Yet the handsome stranger who now owns the farm welcomes her in—just in time for Katie to give birth. Carpenter Elam Sutter and his kindly mother care for Katie and her newborn in a loving way she never dreamed was possible. But in the face of a heartwrenching choice, Katie learns just what family, faith and acceptance truly mean.


Mismatched in Texas

Mismatched in Texas by Janice Thompson


In the quaint community of Poetry, Texas, Belinda Bauer spies an opportunity. The tiny town is filled with loggers and railroad men in need of wives, so she sets herself up as a marriage broker. At her invitation, potential brides begin to arrive in Poetry. There’s only one problem: Belinda doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing and all the brides marry the wrong men! One client is particularly unhappy. George Kaufman, the local barber, has lost more than one prospective wife to Belinda’s fumbled attempts. For some reason, she just can’t seem to find George’s “perfect match,” though it’s not for lack of trying. Is there a poetic ending in store for George— and for Belinda, herself?

NOTE: This novel previously released as Love Finds You in Poetry, Texas